MUSKEGON, Mich. — The operations manager for a Muskegon County tow truck company is charged with three counts of insurance fraud after investigators say he overbilled insurance companies for towing cars involved in crashes.
Andrew Heykoop, operations manager for Eagle Towing in Muskegon County, is charged with three felony counts of insurance fraud. Investigators say Heykoop billed insurance companies with invoices that had false information.
The most recent case dates back to March 16, 2022 when two cars crashed in Holton Township.
Court documents obtained by 13 ON YOUR SIDE showed Eagle Towing then sent Pioneer State Mutual Insurance Company an invoice that included $455 for storage, a $276.50 fuel charge, $1,475 for the accident and $2,475 for Maxel Services Property/Environmental Remediation for a total of $4,681.50.
The Sheriff's Office found that the Muskegon County Road Commission had been responsible for clearing the debris and that no cleanup was performed by Eagle Towing but still billed the insurance company for those services.
Another incident stems from a January 27, 2022 crash in Whitehall Township. According to court documents, the Muskegon County Sheriff says Eagle Towing sent Auto Owners Insurance Company an invoice for $4,405 for services. The invoice included $1,875 to tow the car, an $875 fee from Maxel Services for Property/Environmental Remediation, $345 for a storm protection blanket, $75 for a window wrap, and $1,235 for storage fees.
The driver of the tow truck, Richard Holman, an Eagle Towing employee, told the sheriff that neither Eagle Towning or Maxel Services had provided any clean up, despite Heykoop billing the insurance provider for the service. A probable cause affidavit detailing the incident showed Holman said he asked Heykoop if they were going to clean up the scene and was told no.
On January 10, 2022, deputies responded to another crash in Sullivan Township. Eagle Towing was called to pull a car from the ditch and tow the car. The company sent State Farm Insurance Company an invoice for $5,195 for services. This included $1,100 for the tow, $1,625 for Maxel Services Property/Environmental Remediation and $2,470 for storage fees. The owners of the car both said that there were no fluids leaking from the car and the tow company did not provide clean up services.
"Once Andrew took over things kind of went crazy," Edward Higgins, who said he sold the towing company to Heykoop's father 15 years earlier related. Higgins described himself as a one-time mentor. "He started billing outrageous prices. I, I told him that you can't do that and so forth, but he wasn't willing to accept it."
"I want him to just straighten himself up," Higgins said. "Everybody else runs a good fair business. You know, there's competition between towing companies… but when you look at his bills versus anybody else's, that is outrageous."
Heykoop was unavailable for comment but his lawyer, Michael Corcoran, spoke with 13 ON YOUR SIDE via phone Wednesday. He said Heykoop denies the allegations. Corcoran says he is confident his client will be exonerated.
If convicted, Heykoop faces up to four years behind bars on each charge or a $50,000 fine.
13 ON YOUR SIDE has featured Heykoop in several stories throughout the years, including most recently in December of 2020 when he spoke about adding new safety technology to his fleet.
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